Millions of Brits are planning a festive getaway this Christmas – to escape the in-laws.
A study of 2,000 adults found two fifths are planning to spend the big day away from home, with 17 per cent even choosing to go abroad.
One in five admit their main reason for taking a break is to avoid seeing the in-laws, with another three in 10 choosing to spend the Christmas season away from home to get away from normality.
And more than a quarter are chasing the sun by choosing sunnier climates – including Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Nigel Wolstenholme, head of Rentalcars.com, which commissioned the research, said: “Christmas is the perfect time of year to plan a trip away, and it doesn’t just have to be about escaping what’s happening at home.
“Holidays are about making memories, and when better than by doing something different at Christmas?
“Everyone’s in a good mood and work tends to be quiet, so you don’t have to worry about coming back to floods of emails.
“Although discovering somewhere new in the UK remains popular, our research has found many Brits are now exploring international trips for Christmas, from a short hop to France and Spain, to longer-haul destinations like Thailand and the USA.”
The study also found a fifth are going abroad to visit friends, while more than a third are going away to spend time with distant family.
Nearly a quarter will take a trip to another country to experience a different culture’s festive celebrations, with more than a fifth quite simply wanting to see somewhere new.
It also emerged 29 per cent are fed up of British Christmases because it’s cold but never snows, and a fifth are tired of it being ‘always the same’.
And one in 10 don’t enjoy being at home for Christmas because they don’t like hosting the celebratory dinner with all the trimmings.
A further 14 per cent don’t feel like they are actually on holiday when spending the festive period in the UK – even though they are off work – with an equal percentage admitting they’re not fans of our ‘tacky traditions’.
With an average of seven days to spend putting their feet up, a third feel time spent away from the UK during Christmas feels more like a ‘proper’ holiday.
The average adult will spend £402 for their festive flights, hotels and car hire, but more than one in 10 will splash out £1,000 or more.
More than a third of respondents will hire a car during Christmas – whether that’s at home or abroad – because they have more driving to do, more things to shift from place to place and so they can discover and do as much as possible.
The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 68 per cent would like to go abroad for Christmas in the future, and one in three would consider a trip to another country this time of year to spend time with family and friends.
But even when staying put in the UK, more than nine in 10 admitted they still enjoy the holidays at home.